Magazine June 27, 2016, Issue

The Great Eleventh

Everything Explained That Is Explainable: On the Creation of the Encyclopaedia Britannica’s Celebrated Eleventh Edition, 1910–1911, by Denis Boyles (Knopf, 464 pp., $30)

When Jorge Luis Borges was a young man of insufficient means and eager for an intellectual fix, he acquired the peculiar habit of traveling, each night, to the Biblioteca Nacional and selecting at random a volume of the Eleventh Edition (1910–11) of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, which he would read with the same spellbound attention one might pay a good novel. For Borges and millions of others, the Eleventh Edition, in contradistinction to the editions that came before and after, was, as Borges claimed, “meant to be read . . . because those articles were really monographs, really books or short

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


Politics & Policy


Spiritual Self-Interest In the Week (April 11), a comparison between King David and Donald Trump was made. In describing David’s braveness, it was written: “As a boy, David fought his way ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Trump U. charged outrageous sums for worthless instruction, left graduates woefully unprepared for the job market, and bombarded students with meaningless jargon and self-affirming slogans. Sounds like a legit ...

Secret Agent Woman

In case you haven’t been following the important debates on the Internet this year, people are wondering why James Bond can’t be a woman and why Captain America can’t be ...
Politics & Policy


ALTAR The altar of the great cathedral brings indoors something of the majesty of the open sky, as the architect lifts the eyes of all from the altar to the wide beauty and precision of the ...


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